Archive for the ‘Iran centrifuges’ category

Good Things DO happen in America

July 23, 2015

Caroline Glick speaks at Stop Iran Rally in New York City #StopIranRally

VISIT SITE HERE: http://stopiranrally.org/

(This event was virtually blacked out by the media. Listen to Caroline’s message. Listen to her declaration of America’s support. Listen to our great alliance. May God bless America and Israel. – LS)

UPDATE:

Another moving speech at the rally:

Here’s a view of the rally:

Deep meaning of the Iran deal

July 18, 2015

Deep meaning of the Iran deal, Power LineScott Johnson, July 18, 2015

This deal does the opposite of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. It funds, protects, and perfects the nuclear program.

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Omni Ceren sent out several email messages yesterday updating his readers on the Iran agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or “JCPOA”). I would like to bring the following excerpt from one of the messages to your attention. Omri writes:

The agreement commits the international community to actively helping Iran perfect its nuclear program over the life of the deal (!) On a policy level, it means Iran’s breakout time will be constantly shrinking. On a political level, it means that the deal will be seen as accomplishing the exact opposite of what the Obama administration promised Congress: instead of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, it will commit the U.S. and its allies to funding and boosting it.

The commitments are sprinkled across the JCPOA and obligate a range of global powers:

Russian sponsorship/cooperation on nuclear research at Fordow — The Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) will be converted into a nuclear, physics, and technology centre and international collaboration will be encouraged in agreed areas of research. The Joint Commission will be informed in advance of the specific projects that will be undertaken at Fordow…The transition to stable isotope production of these cascades at FFEP will be conducted in joint partnership between the Russian Federation and Iran on the basis of arrangements to be mutually agreed upon.

European sponsorship of nuclear security, including training against sabotage— E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices…Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.

International sponsorship/cooperation of Iranian fuel fabrication, which will help Iran complete its mastery of fuel cycle, making Iran’s program harder more opaque and difficult to regulate — The Joint Commission will establish a Technical Working Group with the goal of enabling fuel to be fabricated in Iran while adhering to the agreed stockpile parameters… This Technical Working Group will also, within one year, work to develop objective technical criteria for assessing whether fabricated fuel and its intermediate products can be readily converted to UF6.

This deal does the opposite of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. It funds, protects, and perfects the nuclear program.

The U.S. response to Iran’s cheating is a worrying omen

July 8, 2015

The U.S. response to Iran’s cheating is a worrying omen, The Washington Post, The Editorial Board, July 6, 2015

(The Washington Post, usually supportive of the Obama administration, speaks moderately in this Editorial Board offering. However, it manages to point out a few of the major problems with an Obama-led P5+1 “deal.” Please see also, White House Instructs Allies To Lean On ‘Jewish Community’ to Force Iran Deal. — DM)

Mr. Albright, a physicist with a long record of providing non-partisan expert analysis of nuclear proliferation issues, said on the Foreign Policy Web site that he had been unfairly labeled as an adversary of the Iran deal and that campaign-style “war room” tactics are being used by the White House to fend off legitimate questions.

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IF IT is reached in the coming days, a nuclear deal with Iran will be, at best, an unsatisfying and risky compromise. Iran’s emergence as a threshold nuclear power, with the ability to produce a weapon quickly, will not be prevented; it will be postponed, by 10 to 15 years. In exchange, Tehran will reap hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief it can use to revive its economy and fund the wars it is waging around the Middle East.

Whether this flawed deal is sustainable will depend on a complex set of verification arrangements and provisions for restoring sanctions in the event of cheating. The schemes may or may not work; the history of the comparable nuclear accord with North Korea in the 1990s is not encouraging. The United States and its allies will have to be aggressive in countering the inevitable Iranian attempts to test the accord and willing to insist on consequences even if it means straining relations with friendly governments or imposing costs on Western companies.

That’s why a recent controversy over Iran’s compliance with the interim accord now governing its nuclear work is troubling. The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium, but required that amounts over a specified ceiling be converted into an oxide powder that cannot easily be further enriched. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran met the requirement for the total size of its stockpile on June 30, but it did so by converting some of its enriched uranium into a different oxide form, apparently because of problems with a plant set up to carry out the powder conversion.

Rather than publicly report this departure from the accord, the Obama administration chose to quietly accept it. When a respected independent think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security, began pointing out the problem, the administration’s response was to rush to Iran’s defense — and heatedly attack the institute as well as a report in the New York Times.

This points to two dangers in the implementation of any longterm deal. One is “a U.S. willingness to legally reinterpret the deal when Iran cannot do what it said it would do, in order to justify that non-performance,” institute President David Albright and his colleague Andrea Stricker wrote. In other words, overlooking Iranian cheating is easier than confronting it.

This weakness is matched by a White House proclivity to respond to questions about Iran’s performance by attacking those who raise them. Mr. Albright, a physicist with a long record of providing non-partisan expert analysis of nuclear proliferation issues, said on the Foreign Policy Web site that he had been unfairly labeled as an adversary of the Iran deal and that campaign-style “war room” tactics are being used by the White House to fend off legitimate questions.

In the case of the oxide conversion, the discrepancy may be less important than the administration’s warped reaction. A final accord will require Iran to ship most of its uranium stockpile out of the country, or reverse its enrichment. But there surely will be other instances of Iranian non-compliance. If the deal is to serve U.S. interests, the Obama administration and its successors will have to respond to them more firmly and less defensively.

12 Times the Obama Administration Caved to Iran on Nuclear Deal | SUPERcuts! #211

July 7, 2015

12 Times the Obama Administration Caved to Iran on Nuclear Deal | SUPERcuts! Washington Free Beacon via You Tube, July 6, 2015

With their own words, Barack Obama, John Kerry and their team trying to make a nuclear deal with Iran have caved time and time again.

 

Oren blasts Iran nuclear deal: It’s not linked to changed Iranian behavior

June 30, 2015

Oren blasts Iran nuclear deal: It’s not linked to changed Iranian behavior, Washington Free Beacon via You Tube, June 29, 2015

 

Can these forces stop a rotten Iran deal?

June 25, 2015

Can these forces stop a rotten Iran deal? The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, June 25, 2015

(Ms. Rubin is one of the Washington Post’s token conservatives, and anything she says is routinely disparaged by many WaPo readers. Others? Not so much. — DM)

Between the press leaks revealing serial concessions, the public incoherence of Secretary of State John Kerry and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public declarations, the forces opposing an imminent Iran deal have plenty of material to work with. And if there is any doubt as to Israel’s position, opposition leader Isaac Herzog — whom President Obama dearly hoped would replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made clear what Israel-watchers already knew:

“There is no difference between me and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in reading the threat of Iran,” Herzog said in an interview with The Telegraph. “There is no daylight between us on this issue at all. I do not oppose the diplomatic process.

However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We want to know ‘what is the deal?’ What’s the best deal possible that can be reached and would it change the region in a better direction? And here we are worried.”

In the article, Telegraph chief foreign correspondent David Blair appeared to express frustration that Herzog did not come across as opposing Netanyahu on Iran.

“If the US administration hoped that Mr. Herzog might dilute Israel’s visceral suspicion of an imminent nuclear deal with Iran, however, then he seems likely to disappoint,” Blair wrote.

There is no divide in the country at large, with 80 percent of Israelis declaring they have no confidence in President Obama’s handling of Iran.

Most GOP presidential hopefuls have decried the president’s giveaways. On Wednesday, former Texas governor Rick Perry, for example, put out a statement, which read in part: “In reckless pursuit of any agreement, President Obama has conceded point after point after point. Iran has used deadlines and extensions as a tactic for eliciting still more concessions from the U.S. We are well past the time where further concessions are tolerable if we still intend to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons capability rather than manage its breakout time. This agreement is shaping up to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and increase the odds of a devastating and catastrophic military conflict in the future. President Obama should abandon these dangerous negotiations and resume international sanctions until Iran understands and accepts that they cannot have a nuclear weapon.”

Meanwhile, the most influential Democrat on Iran, Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), has been taking to the Senate floor on a regular basis to denounce the reported concessions. On Wednesday, former Bill Clinton secretary of defense William Cohen denounced the deal as likely to start a nuclear arms race: “Once you say they are allowed to enrich, the game is pretty much up in terms of how do you sustain an inspection regime in a country that has carried on secret programs for 17 years and is still determined to maintain as much of that secrecy as possible.” He echoed multiple critics who saw it was all downhill once Obama did an about-face on the Syrian red line: “It was mishandled and everybody in the region saw how it was handled. And I think it shook their confidence in the administration. … The Saudis, the UAE and the Israelis were all concerned about that. They are looking at what we say, what we do, and what we fail to do, and they make their judgments. In the Middle East now, they are making different calculations.” (While Sen. Lindsey Graham strongly supported military action, none of the other three senators running for president did.)

More bipartisan opposition comes from ex-lawmakers. The American Security Initiative, headed by former senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), announced a $1.4 million ad buy to inform the public about the contents of the imminent deal. Its targets include Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Chuck Schumer of New York and independent Angus King of Maine. While Schumer likes to fancy himself as a great friend of Israel, when the chips are down, he has often given the administration cover, as he did in supporting the nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for defense secretary.

In addition, an all-star group of Iran and military experts including former Obama advisers Dennis Ross, Robert Einhorn and Gary Samore warn against a deal that does not include anytime/anywhere inspections, revelation of possible military dimensions of Iran’s program before sanctions relief begins, “strict limits on advanced centrifuge R&D, testing, and deployment in the first ten years, and [measures to] preclude the rapid technical upgrade and expansion of Iran’s enrichment capacity after the initial ten-year period,” gradual lifting of sanctions and no relief from non-nuclear sanctions and a timely mechanism to reimpose sanctions if Iran cheats. In other words, they’ll support a deal utterly unlike the one we are likely to get.

Other voices now are speaking out on the administration’s willingness to lift sanctions while Iran continues its support for terrorism. Manhattan’s long-time Democratic district attorney Robert Morgenthau  (who tracked Iranian finances and relations with dictators in our hemisphere) writes that “the fundamental question to be asked is whether the deal the U.S. is negotiating with Iran will curtail its role as a state sponsor of terrorism. The answer appears to be a resounding no. . . . These sanctions, particularly over the past decade, have given the U.S. powerful leverage. It appears that this leverage is being frittered away as U.S. negotiators bend over backward to strike a deal. But meaningful deals are negotiated from strength; not from desperation. Any deal that fails to address or curtail Iran’s role as a state sponsor of terrorism—and that actually undercuts our ability to confront that threat—is a deal that we must not make.”

There is little doubt that the most prominent pro-Israel organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will go all-out to defeat the deal if it contains the sorts of concessions reported in the media. As we have noted, it already has begun warning lawmakers and the public of the dangers in a deal that does not stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

The White House, aided by every left-wing group it can round up (including persistent Israel antagonist J Street) will try to make this a choice between war and its crummy deal. It will strong-arm every Democrat who will listen. It will gloss over concessions, trying to pass off critics as unfamiliar with the fine print of the deal. Working against the president, however — in addition to the ludicrous concessions — are two factors. He, according to every recent public poll out there, is distrusted on foreign policy. And he is increasingly ineffective in bullying his own party, as we saw on the Corker-Menendez bill giving Congress an up-or-down vote. (If not for GOP leadership in both houses, he’d never have gotten trade-promotion authority.) Still, opponents of the deal do not underestimate the task of getting enough votes in the Congress to override the president’s veto of a resolution of disapproval.

The most interesting figure in all this may be Hillary Clinton. Unlike trade authority, it is inconceivable that she could refuse to take a clear position on an Iran nuclear deal. If she breaks with the president (highly unlikely), the left will attack her mercilessly. If she stands by him she risks — as he does — a bipartisan repudiation and an irate electorate. It is fitting that the biggest loser in this may be Clinton, who initiated engagement with Iran and continually opposed congressional efforts to tighten sanctions. Obama’s name may be on the deal, as the president said, but if there is a deal, it will be a direct result of four years of her Iran policy that set the pattern for her successor.

Getting to yes

June 25, 2015

Getting to yes, Power LineScott Johnson, June 24, 2015

(Just a few more reasons why the version of the P5+1 – Iran nuke “deal” now under discussion is terrible. — DM)

Omri Ceren writes to comment on George Jahn’s AP story “Document outlines bit-power nuke help to Iran.” If you have been following our posts presenting Omri’s comments on the breaking news of our capitulation to the Islamic Republic of Iran, please don’t miss this one:

The Associated Press got ahold of one of the five secret annexes being worked on ahead of a final deal between the P5+1 global powers and Iran. This one – titled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation” – details a range of nuclear technology that various members of the P5+1 will be obligated to provide Iran, including “high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment.” The draft that the AP saw wasn’t finalized, and so some of the concessions are subject to change.

As the annex is written right now, however, this is no longer a deal to stop the Iranian nuclear program. It’s a deal to let the Iranians perfect their nuclear program with international assistance and under international protection.

The uranium concession: As well, it firms up earlier tentative agreement on what to do with the underground site of Fordo, saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment. Washington and its allies had long insisted that the facility be repurposed away from enrichment because Fordo is dug deep into a mountain and thought resistant to air strikes — an option neither the U.S. nor Israel has ruled out should talks fail. But because isotope production uses the same technology as enrichment and can be quickly re-engineered to enriching uranium, the compromise has been criticized by congressional opponents of the deal.

Some country in the P5+1 will be helping the Iranians develop next-generation centrifuges in a facility impenetrable to American and Israeli bombs. Conversely, any country that wants to sabotage that development will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.

As the centrifuges are being developed they’ll be spinning non-nuclear elements, but once they’re perfected the Iranians will be able to use them to enrich uranium. The international community will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout.

A couple of obvious points. First, it means the P5+1 will be actively providing the Iranians with the tools to break out while a deal is in place. The Iranians will already have 300kg of 3.67% uranium on hand, and they’ll be able to scale up production as they need because the JCPOA lets them keep 5,000 centrifuges enriching uranium at Natanz and lets them keep another 10,000 centrifuges in storage available to be installed. They can bring low enriched material to Fordow and quickly enrich it to weapons-grade levels in the next-generation centrifuges they’ll have developed with P5+1 assistance. Second – again – it means that the P5+1 will be actively ensuring that Iran will have the technology to go nuclear at will the instant the deal expires. The technology the Iranians learn to develop at Fordow will be applied on a mass scale.

The plutonium concession: To that end, the draft, entitled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak, which would produce enough plutonium for several bombs a year if completed as planned… Outlining plans to modify that heavy-water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to “establish an international partnership” to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in “the leadership role as the project owner and manager.”

Light-water reactors are significantly more proliferation-resistant than heavy-water reactors (in fact there’s no reason to build a heavy water reactor – of the type that the Iranians have been working on – unless you want to produce plutonium for a nuclear weapon). But even LWRs are not proliferation proof, and a plutonium bomb isn’t the only concern.

Imagine that 15 years from now the Iranians have built a dozen LWRs with help from a P5+1 nation. One concern is indeed that they’ll kick out inspectors, keep the spent fuel, and start reprocessing on the way to creating a plutonium bomb. But a more subtle concern is that they will use the existence of the LWRs as a pretext for industrial-scale uranium enrichment – because they’ll say they need the uranium fuel for their plutonium plants – which can serve as a cover for breaking out with a uranium bomb. The P5+1 would be actively providing the Iranians with diplomatic leverage to use against the P5+1 in the future. The answer to this latter concern is that the JCPOA sunset clause already allows the Iranians to have an industrial-scale uranium enrichment program that can serve as a cover for breaking out with a uranium bomb. I’m not sure the administration wants to overemphasize that point.